Monday, November 15, 2010

Repotting, repotting, repotting

I am still praying that the branch I cut from my Grandmother's Kenanga will take root. Those beautiful flowers and gorgeous scent haunt me in the garden. Bik seems hopeful, I am not so sure.

Meanwhile, I have been busy transfering and repotting my giant keladi and other plants.

This type in particular, I managed to repot in five pots. Their roots looked too cramped in their earlier pots, hampering a lovely display.

Here are easy plants to repot that even a child can handle. By the way, Inas and I attended a re-potting session at the lake Club some years back. Lovely experience - getting children to be involved in the garden.

A living inheritance from generation to generation.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My little gardener, Ikesha

Ikesha loves being in the garden. She planted the pomegranate. Hopefully her tree will bear fruit like this.

She knows already that Aloe Vera is good for minor cuts.

And finally learned not to pluck unripe ciku!

Most of all, she loves to 'water' the plants and to run about.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Patah Tumbuh Hilang Berganti

Bunga kenanga berputik kembali
Tenang sungguh suasana di taman
Patah tumbuh hilang berganti
Pepatah Melayu zaman berzaman

It was quite a tough week. Grandma's funeral and prayers were held in Pekan Pahang from Wednesday, 27th October for three days. When I returned to KL, we were exhausted yet satisfied that we had done all we could for her and met all her expressed wishes.

By Sunday, I felt a need for quiet contemplation. I had, over the last few days drafted a simple ode to grandma which I posted here. But I needed to get my hands dirty and busy in the garden.

So early Sunday morning, I set to re-pot all the overcrowded plants I had. I took the wild gingers, aloe veras and a water orchid to tasks. From one plant, I ended up with six to seven new pots of each plant. The cekur which descended from my late Grandma Jamilah's garden needed repotting as well.

In Pekan, I took a cutting from the Tok Rahmah's favourite kenanga tree. I am trying to encourage rooting - we'll see.

It was many years ago when I inherited Tok Jamilah's 80 year old water pot. Through thick and thin, together with her aloe veras, they have followed me. Now I have Tok Rahmah's century old rice pot as well in my garden.

The garden is slowly shaping up. I am content.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gardening Sunday

Today, I moved our bird nest ferns to the curb near the entrance to accompany the young frangipani. It has been quite lonely. And they look lovely together.

After the general weeding and pruning, we had rozelle drink, some ciku and nona fruit, all from the garden.


Sunday, October 10, 2010


Whenever I am in the garden, it is a trip back in time. Generally, my instinct for gardening was borne of unconscious observation...watching my grandmother in her garden.

My two grandmothers must have played a significant role in my life. One gave me stories, the other an absolute love for all things green. It is of my late Tok Jamilah that my thoughts fly back to today as I weeded and got rid of browning leaves in my lttle garden.

Tok Jamilah never sat still in her garden. As she sat on the steps of her house, she diligently removed all the baby aloe veras sprouting beneath the huge aloe veras that flanked the magnificent entrance steps to the old cengal house in Kampung Baru Jaya Diri. Tok Jamilah's garden had golden coconuts, rambutan, jambu air, mempelam and delima at base of the back staircase leading to the kitchen. There was the great towering sireh, serai, lengkuas, kunyit and a bush of chilies. There was guava at the gate entrance snd a circular rose garden as you drove in.

Tok Jamilah was constantly weeding, pruning, removing unwanted young sprouts. This was my first lesson in the garden. This is vital. It is a serious undertaking - this removal of the weak and browning. My grandma was relentless.

One day, I saw my grandma setting traps in the garden. By evening, she caught a beautiful squirrel. She calmly drowned the poor creature. I cried and asked her why. Her answer, the squirrel ate her coconuts. Certainly, gardening is not for the weakhearted. Now, today, I would love to have squirrels and birds in my garden, I would never resort to killing them. But I remove snails and spray pests with my citronella spray. And remove leaves with cocoons. I suppose I am not as ruthless as my grandmother. But then my garden is not even one tenth of her one acre compound.

Another thing. To grandma, the house was part of the garden, not the other way round. The kitchen extended into the garden, with the lesung kaki housed under a huge shelter at one end and several tunku at another end. The lemang stove area was the centre of the hari raya season. They were people in the garden night and day. I can't remember why. But there were always nieces, helpers, anak angkat and gidzillion of people around.

My grandmother looked after her garden all her life. Even when rheumatism must have caused her so much pain. I feel her close when I am in the garden. Experimenting. Remembering. Loving.

The garden - her legacy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Backyard

Bunga kantan di dalam pagar
One and a half year old cherry trees behind the house

Quiet corner in the evenings

Sunday, May 16, 2010